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Liver disease – causes, side effects and treatments at

Monday, May 07, 2018 by

Liver diseases are any diseases that affect the normal functioning of the liver. Liver diseases can be inherited or acquired.

There are more than 100 types of liver disease, which are caused by a variety of factors, such as alcohol consumption, genetics, toxins, viruses, and sometimes unknown causes.

  • Alcohol-related liver disease (Excess consumption of alcohol)
  • Haemochromatosis (A gene that may be passed from parents to children)
  • Hepatitis (Catching a viral infection, regularly drinking too much alcohol)
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (Being very overweight or obese, which may cause fat to build up in the liver)
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis (May be caused by a problem with the immune system)

The kinds of liver diseases include:

  • Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, which are liver diseases caused by viruses
  • Fatty liver disease and cirrhosis (scarring), which are liver diseases caused by drugs, poisons, or too much alcohol
  • Liver cancer
  • Hemochromatosis and Wilson disease, which are inherited liver diseases

Known symptoms and risk factors for liver disease

Symptoms of liver disease may vary, but they commonly include swelling of the abdomen and legs, easy bruising, discoloration of stool and urine, and yellowing of the skin and eyes, known as jaundice.

Most types of liver disease don’t cause any symptoms in the early stages, and once the symptoms do appear, the liver is already damaged and scarred. This is known as cirrhosis.

Other common symptoms of liver diseases include:

  • Always feeling exhausted and weak
  • Loss of appetite, which may lead to weight loss
  • Loss of sex drive or libido
  • Jaundice of the skin and whites of the eyes

Other symptoms may include itchy skin, or feeling or being sick.

Liver diseases can be acquired by means other than alcohol misuse, such as:

  • Certain medications
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Travel
  • Unprotected sex

Body systems harmed by liver disease

Liver disease can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. Untreated liver disease may lead to complications such as an increased risk of bleeding and infection, malnutrition and weight loss, as well as decreased cognitive function.

Some liver diseases are associated with an increased risk of developing liver cancer.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent liver disease

To ensure optimal liver function, add the following foods and herbs to your regular diet:

  • Apple
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Artichoke leaves
  • Asparagus
  • Astragalus
  • Avocado
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chicory root
  • Dandelion
  • Flaxseeds
  • Garlic
  • Ginseng
  • Grapefruit
  • Greater celandine
  • Green tea
  • Leafy greens
  • Licorice
  • Lemon
  • Milk thistle
  • Olive oil
  • Papaya
  • Red cabbage
  • Spinach and carrot juice
  • Tomatoes
  • Turmeric
  • Walnut
  • Whole grains
  • Yellow dock root

Treatments, management plans for liver disease

Tests such as imaging tests and liver function tests can check for liver damage and help to diagnose liver diseases.

You can reduce your risk for many types of liver disease with some simple lifestyle changes, which include:

  • Drinking plenty of clean water
  • Avoiding drinking too much alcohol
  • Avoiding drug use
  • Avoiding paracetamol overdose
  • Practicing good hygiene
  • Trying to maintain a healthy weight for your height

Where to learn more


Liver diseases are any diseases that affect the normal functioning of the liver. Liver diseases can be inherited or acquired.

Liver diseases may be caused by alcohol consumption, genetics, toxins, viruses, and unknown causes.

Sources include:


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